With the five little bunny toys ready for their journey to the magazine for photography, my attention has turned back to finishing the box project that I worked on over the weekend. For those of you who missed, I used my new Chalky Finish Paint by DecoArt to transform this ugly wooden box:
One thing that I liked about this box was that it had some cool hardware that added to the character. Not only did it have hinges and a latch, but also corner pieces and dress pieces besides.
My problem now though was that the hardware was all shiny silver, which I didn’t feel went well with the new look of the box.
It certainly didn’t seem to go with the theme of the box, and I didn’t want to re-install it ‘as is.’
I went to my computer and did a search as to how to rust metal pieces quickly. I thought that some rusty looking hardware would look rather nice with the crackle paint, distressed stencils and muted colors.
I came across several different posts from different places which had formulas for rusting metal pieces such as jingle bells very quickly. While the recipes varied slightly, they all seemed to have the consensus of using bleach, cider vinegar and salt. I thought I would give it a try.
I carefully mixed the concoction in a jar (as per instructions) and put the pieces in. They immediately began foaming up (which I thought looked promising) and continued to do so for the first day. I checked the jar periodically, as I didn’t want it to explode or anything like that. The instructions said to “loosely” cover it, so I felt that allowing some air to escape periodically was probably a good idea. I gently stirred the contents from time to time, and with the mixture turning brown, I hoped that the job was getting done. It looked really gross and ugly:
The time frame on most of the different sources were all pretty much the same – I was to leave the metal pieces soak for about two days. This was tolerable for me because I had other things to do (the bunnies) so I was distracted and it didn’t seem to be as much as a hardship for me to wait.
Yesterday morning marked the beginning of the third day and I had thought that certainly the reaction that I desired would have taken place by then. However, I was extremely disappointed when I took the pieces out of the jar, allowed them to air dry in as much sunlight as I could find (again – as per instructions) and the result were pieces that if anything, looked even shinier than when I began:
I was not happy. :(
So when we were out doing errands, we went to the three hardware stores in our little town to see if there was the possibility of finding anything that would remotely work with this box. As often happens, we came up empty.
I know that Lee Valley would have the pieces I would want, in the finish that I desired, but besides the fact that they no longer had free shipping, I didn’t feel like spending $30 or more on hardware for this ‘re-purposed’ box, as it would defeat the point of using it in the first place I would think.
I was discouraged, but I had an idea . . .
As most of you know, I am a DecoArt junkie. I have most (many – not ALL!) of their lines of paints in many, many different colors. They do have a line of paint called Gloss Enamels which adhere to many non-porous surfaces. You can even bake them for added adhesion and durability. I had a deep brown metallic color called “Rich Espresso” that I thought would look nice:
I applied the paint to the metal piece by using a deerfoot stippler brush and lightly pouncing the color on. this gave the paint more ‘tooth’ and made the surface look old and irregular – just the look I wanted.
I let the pieces dry for several hours, and then I put them into the oven to bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees. when I took them out and allowed them to cool, I tried to scratch a corner of the paint off with my nail and it seemed like it stuck pretty darn good. Since the hardware from this box won’t be handled much, I think it will do an adequate job.
I decided that even though it looked pretty good, I was going to apply another coat. I will do that today and will re-install the hardware and show finished pieces of the box tomorrow.
While it would have been nice to have the hardware rust as it was supposed to, or even find new hardware, as I said – it would have defeated the purpose of reusing this box. For the cost of one little bottle of paint (with much left over, as you could imagine) I think that this is a perfect solution.
Once again, I want to praise DecoArt for another awesome product. I know I recommend them a great deal, but they have an extensive variety of paints for so many applications and I always seem to have luck with their products. I also like the fact that they are all odorless and acrylic based, so there is no caustic smell. I can’t say enough good about them.
Today the bunnies begin their journey to the magazine for photography for their article. I will finish up the box and then get started on the next project(s) that I am going to be working on. This was really a fun couple of days and I truly appreciate all the nice comments that you all sent me regarding these. It really makes it fun to design.
I hope you all have a wonderful Thursday.
Today’s Featured Design:
These darling bunny silhouettes ornaments are fun and easy to do. Their vivid colors will certainly brighten up your day! You can use them as plant pokes, in wreaths, on an “all season” tree, or even as refrigerator magnets. While they would make wonderful Easter ornaments, they will certainly be a welcome site all through the spring and summer months! But watch out – we know how bunnies multiply! Before you know it you will have a whole house full of them!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"